The time has come to start potty-training, and I am a little terrified. I know the benefits, I understand the importance, but I’ve gotten accustomed to the ease and routine of diapers. My son is going on the potty pretty regularly at home, but still struggling a bit at school.
There are many different methods and tips out there to help kids go diaper free and make toilet training as easy as possible for you and your children. One thing I have found that is most valuable is that my husband and I are on the same page as the teachers in my son's classroom.
AppleTree & Gilden Woods offers a great potty-training program featuring one of our Woodland friends, Pedal. We also offer tips for parents to ensure that we are all on the same page and that they feel encouraged and supported. Below are a few tips that our teachers use and that we give to parents to help avoid potential potty training problems when a child is ready to start the process.
- Assign easy names to bladder and bowel movements. Common ones include “pee pee” and “poo poo” but feel free to use your own. Remain consistent with the names that you do assign. Ask your child questions such as “Do you have a poo poo in your diaper?” and “Is it time to go pee pee in the potty?” These are the words they will learn to signal you when it is time to go.
- Have a potty walk through lesson. Talk through what you do when you use the bathroom. Don’t let the small details escape your train of thought. Remember, this is all new to your child. Invite questions.
- Change your child’s diaper as soon as it gets dirty. This lets your child feel the difference between wet and dry. When this happens, it helps teach your child what a dry diaper feels like and make the connection to when it is time to go potty.
- Create a signal for a dirty diaper. This lets you know that your child knows the difference between a wet and dry diaper and will be able to tell you when it is time to go potty. Also, praise your child when they tell you about a dirty diaper. This will associate going to the potty with a positive feeling, which is crucial to successful potty training.
- Choosing the Potty. During this time you also need to decide whether you want a potty that sits on the floor or on the actual “big potty.” Pay attention to your child’s desires in this decision making process. A lot of your child’s success will depend on their initial comfort level with the potty. Some children are initially afraid of the larger toilet and will be more comfortable on the floor. If this is the case you can start there and graduate to the big toilet at a time when your child is more comfortable.
- Keep encouraging your child when they use the potty, and with time it will happen more consistently
Stay strong, stay consistent, and encouraging. This a big change for both you and your child and you will both feel accomplished and proud once you’ve achieved potty training success. Best of luck potty training your child!